First, get Melville out of the way:
Nor is it altogether the remembrance of her cathedral toppling earthquakes, nor the tearlessness of arid skies that never rain; nor the sight of her wide field of leaning spires, wrenched cope-stones, and crosses all adroop (like canted yards of anchored fleets); and her suburban avenues of house-walls lying over upon each other, as a tossed pack of cards;–it is not these things alone which make tearless Lima the strangest, saddest city thou can’st see. For Lima has taken the veil; and there is a higher horror in the whiteness of her woe.
In three days in Lima it is true that we saw nothing of the sky, not a flicker of sun. The sky was uniformly white all day, suggesting fog and rain but delivering neither. But I wouldn’t call Lima sad.